Photos from 250+ Feet up COTA’s Petrolsaurus Rex

Standing 251 feet above Turns 16, 17, & 18, the COTA observation tower provides a bird’s eye view of just about every tun on the circuit, if you can stomach its subtle sway in the wind and clear-glass floor at the precipice. Officially called by COTA as the “Observation Tower” – it really needs a better name for casual conversation. We’ve heard COTA Cobra used a few times with some lovely alliteration, but the structure has always struck us as less snake-like, and more like a big dinosaur — we’re going to use the name “Petrolsaurus Rex” until I hear something better, or COTA sends me a cease and desist order. I climbed to the top of Petrolsaurus Rex (read: took the elevator) during the MotoGP Warm-Up session, and snapped a few photos in the process. Enjoy!

MV Agusta F3 800 Ago Now Officially Debuts

We already announced the bike last November, and brought you a bevy of hi-res images of the special edition machine. Although now that we think of it, MV Agusta never released anything on this Giacomo Agostini tribute motorcycle — better late than never, right? Back at the EICMA show launch, where the MV Agusta F3 800 Ago was first shown to the public (and Agostini himself), the Varese brand promised us two additional motorcycle launches in early 2014. MV Agsuta made good on half that promise with the Dragster 800 model, hopefully this Ago special edition isn’t the other half of that statement, and MV Agusta still has something waiting in the wings. That being said, the Tricolore & Gold paint scheme is gorgeous, and looks even better in person.

Isle of Man TT Gets TV Deal for Australia & USA

Want to watch the Isle of Man TT from the comfort of your non-British TV, but haven’t been able to in the past? A new TV from the Isle of Man’s Department of Economic Development will do just that. Inking a new TV contract with North One TV, the Isle of Man TT will be televised in the American, Australian, and of course British markets, making it easier than ever to watch the iconic road race. With a five-year contract with the Velocity Channel in the US, the American cable channel will show seven one-hour race shows. Each segment will air within 24hrs of each race, and be tailored for the American market.

Castiglioni Denies Fiat Buyout of MV Agusta Is in the Works

After reporting 22% growth in Q1 2014, Giovanni Castiglioni had some closing words about the rumors that Fiat could acquire MV Agusta — a popular rumor that has been swirling around in the press the last two months. Denying outright that MV Agusta had, or was in, talks with the Fiat-Chrysler group about an acquisition (some reports linked even MV Agusta to being bought by Fiat-owned Ferrari), Castiglioni said the Italian company solely was focused on building growth, and building motorcycles. “Moreover, I’d like to take this opportunity to deny rumours circulated by the media over the last few days concerning supposed negotiations vis-à-vis the sale of a share of MV Agusta to the Fiat-Chrysler Group,” said Giovanni Castiglioni, the President and CEO of MV Agusta.

A 2WD Hybrid-Electric Motorcycle for the US Military?

In the coming years, US special forces may be riding a tw0-wheel drive, hybrid-electric, multi-fuel motorcycle co-developed by BRD Motorcycles and Logos Technologies. Helping make this project possible is a Small Business Innovation Research grant from DARPA. The goal is to make a single-track vehicle for US expeditionary and special forces that will be nearly silent in operation, yet also capable of traveling long distances. Details on the proposed machine are light, of course, but it sounds like the 2WD dirt bike will be based off the BRD RedShift MX (shown above), and use an electric drivetrain, as well as a multi-fuel internal combustion engine to achieve its goals.

Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000. While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.

Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes. The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model. The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW.

Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

Continuing its theme of making limited-edition helmets for premier-class US rounds, Bell Helmets has teamed up with the Circuit of the Americas and Chris Wood, of Airtrix, to create a Texas-themed Bell Star Carbon helmet, just in time for COTA’s MotoGP race next weekend. Available only until April 13th, the Bell/COTA helmet features a red, white, and blue flag motif on the front, with both the American and State of Texas flags visible, which then wrap around the rear to merge with a hardwood design, reminiscent of the floorboards in a Western saloon. The helmet is also crowned with a Longhorn cattle skull, which adds to the Texan motif. The specially designed helmet also features a horseshoe, the COTA logo, and the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas logo.

Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

Towards the end of the 800cc era, MotoGP looked to be in dire condition. Grids were dwindling, factories were reducing their participation, and teams were in difficult financial straits indeed. By the end of 2011, there were just 17 full time entries, Suzuki was down to a single rider, and were about to pull out entirely for 2012. How different the situation looks today. In a recent interview with the official website, Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Albesiano gave a brief outline of their plans. The Italian factory will continue to work with the IODA Racing team for 2014 to collect data on the electronics and tires, which they will use as input on an entirely new project being worked on for 2016.

Friday at Indianapolis with Scott Jones

08/16/2013 @ 4:17 pm, by Scott Jones14 COMMENTS


  1. Paul McM says:

    Great Pix! Big thank you to Scott Jones and to Jensen (for running this site).

    So… will we have coverage on Speed of the race. The website is FUBAR with today’s changeover to Fox Sports.

  2. MajorTom says:

    According to some announcer on Speed today, “all of the regular speed stuff will still be on the new Fox Sports 1 channel.”

  3. L2C says:

    I’m not sure about that Karel Abraham dude. He’d probably have an easier time in another class of motorcycling sport, I think. Why doesn’t he just drop back down a class to Moto2 and get more experience? MotoGP is clearly too much for him. He makes way too many mistakes and lands off his bike way too often. This should be cause for concern.

    But Jorge cracks me up. All that serpent shit makes me think he’s into some weird shit in his personal life, not that I actually believe that he is into some weird shit. I can’t think of any “good” connotations for serpent symbolism, at least as far as “God’s Country” is concerned. To each his own, though. He seems like a good person, it’s just that all the serpent stuff makes you wonder.

    And then there’s his fascination with bloodshed… OK, I give up. I do not grok Jorge Lorenzo, at all. He puts on a good show, however.

  4. L2C says:

    “He puts on an amusing show…”

  5. Prich says:

    It’s always overdone though, isn’t it? Full respect to lorenzo as a racer, but he’s shit at marketing. Last race he was doing some silly Snake bike move at the end of the race, and now he has his hemet painted with “Green Mamba” on the back. Can you just keep giving yourself nicknames like that? It’s kind of lame. What would I call myself?

  6. Prich says:

    and forgot to mention, great photos Scott. Superb.

  7. “It’s kind of lame. What would I call myself?”

    People are awesome in their inability to grasp the utterly obvious. He’s not calling himself Green Mamba, he’s ALIGNING or IDENTIFYING with what that particular snake represents. Honestly, it’s unbelievable that somebody would have to explain that. Wow.

    “I’m not sure about that Karel Abraham dude.”

    Helluva nice guy who crashes far too often for his own good. It’s a good thing that he got his masters degree sorted last year; I have a hard time believing that he’ll manage to stay well and/or competitive enough to stay in the class for long. That said, when he doesn’t bin the bike, he’s reasonably fast. (Fast enough to qualify each and every time, so there’s that.)

  8. L2C says:

    If it were just the Mamba, then there wouldn’t even be a discussion about it. But it’s not just the Mamba. He identifies with constrictors as well. Serpents in general. And a whole bunch of other shit, none of it forming a coherent picture. And this comes across as weird, to me.

    But whatever, dude. Simplify it your way.

  9. ” He identifies with constrictors as well. Serpents in general. And a whole bunch of other shit, none of it forming a coherent picture.”

    The coherent picture is that he ATTACKS his competition, STRIKING when the opportunity arises. He POISON’s his competition’s chances of success by SUFFOCATING their strategies wherever possible. Simple, eh? Snakes as a sports metaphor. Who knew? ;-)

  10. L2C says:

    I said that already. In fact, I was the first to point that out in a post here. But you’re not taking into consideration all of the other obvious shit that bears no relation to the serpent shit.

  11. Well, being that I’m unaware of any other stuff, it’s tough to take it into consideration. :) What’s he into? Haitian voodoo?

  12. jimmy smith jr says:

    @ Trane Francks

    There outta be some safe christian road racing site that you can follow…maybe they could photoshop out anything blasphemous from the riders helmets/suits/actions….hell they could probably sensor anything interesting…i mean blasphemous….out of the news for you too??

  13. jimmy smith jr says:

    sorry that was supposed to be @ L2C….but maybe you might want to check out the christian road race site too Trane….gotta be some good laughs there?? :)

  14. “sorry that was supposed to be @ L2C”

    Ah, okay. I was already ramping up the “What the H-E-double-hockey-sticks are you talking about?” ;)